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ISSUE 116 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/11/2003

Oles 2-0 after returning from Florida

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, April 11, 2003

The St. Olaf women’s tennis team came back from their spring break trip to Florida with more than just a great tan. They logged significant practice time outdoors for the first time this year and split with two opponents from the sunshine state. "It was great to finally get outside," said Michelle Wiersma ‘05. "In addition to helping the team further bond, practicing outside really improved our game and made us ready for the remainder of the season." The trip started with a bang as the all nine Oles competitors registered victories against the overmatched hosts from Southeastern College. The 9-0 whitewash was the team’s first of the season. Three days later, as the scenery shifted from Lakeland to Tampa, a tussle with Hillsburough Community College produced an entirely different result. Only two Ole women emerged with victories as they fell 7-2. However, it quickly became apparent that all the sun-drenched practice paid dividends. The squad made the long voyage home and promptly registered back-to-back conference victories. After the 3,000-mile trip a week earlier, the hour and a half drive to Winona to face the St. Mary’s must have been easy. However, the meet with the cardinals was anything but. This one was a dogfight from the start as two squads seesawed in the early going. Beth Erie ’05 got things started of right by destroying Nicole Hilo 6-0, 6-2 at number one singles. Kristen Buchta ‘05 and Jamie Brau ‘04 also registered victories in the number three and four singles respectively. Buchta won a hard fought two set match over Amanda Clark 7-6, 6-3 while Brau dispatched Allison Ast with relative ease, 6-2, 6-4. The three other singles matches ended in defeat but all were closely contested. Joni Peterson vanquished Jennifer Ison ‘03 in number two singles but not before the match was extended to a tiebreaker. Ison wound up losing by the agonizing tally of 2-6, 7-5, 10-8. The Cardinals’ Cassie Czech narrowly defeated Emily Eggert ‘06 7-6(5), 7-5 in their number five singles match while Lauren Benson ‘05 dropped a 6-1, 7-5 decision to Angie Beissel in the final singles clash. Deadlocked at 3-3 for the meet, the team needed to win two of the three remaining doubles matches. In number one doubles, the Oles sent Erie and Buchta to the court to dispatch the St. Mary’s tandem of Clark and Hilo 8-6. Ison and Eggert finished off the Cardinals by virtue of their 8-3 triumph over Peterson and Czech in number two doubles. After the dust had settled the Oles had a much needed conference victory 5-4. Two days later the squad finally hosted a home meet as they welcomed the Pipers of Hamline University. However, the Oles were anything but receptive as they completely dismantled the Pipers 9-0. Primed and ready to take on the rest of the MIAC the women’s tennis team stands at 4-2 in conference play and 6-2 overall. The squad will play Macalester at home Saturday before the Knights cross the Cannon River Tuesday to meet the Oles on the Carlson courts. They may not have brought back the sunshine from Florida, but hopefully their best outdoor game found its way back to Northfield with them.

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